Exercise is a worship : You and Your Body



Certain activities demand focus if you desire good outcome. Prayer/Sadhna is one known activity.

Exercise/Running/Cycling is one such activity. You need to be with self for the designated time frame. No family, no phone, no chit-chat, no music.


When you go for run equipped with IPod, you divide your attention among senses. Your mind wither frequently. Billions cells will not participate in activity and will never get gratified properly.

Division of attention = inefficient execution of tasks among whom attention is divided.

You and your body. Period.

Try it. Your exercise throughput will increase manifold. Billions cells of your body-Nation will be indebted. Senses will be gratified.

Mind Set Matters : Exercise and Placebo



When त्रिदोष (कफ़्,पित्त,वायु) disturbance happen, one or another symptom surfaces in physical plane.

To come out of this situation, two actions are required. 1) Correction of त्रिदोष imbalance by habits change, food vrata, place change, medicines etc. 2) Elimination of toxins accumulated due to त्रिदोष imbalance.

For both actions, positive mindset is very essential. Your mental plane must act and visualize slow but steady recovery. And the root purpose behind it should be your intense but pious intention to perform Karma based on dharma. No selfish motive.

Many herbs work for balancing त्रिदोष and eliminating toxins but there is only one medicine which works for both, not only on physical plane but also on mental plane. That medicine is गव्य प्रसाद (गोबर,मूत्र,दूध). They start working from mental plane, stabilizing त्रिदोष on प्राणमय शरीर & अन्नमय शरीर.

दूध and its forms (छास,घी) are potent प्राणवाहक. Form of प्राण which when you intake with your full mental focus, will help stabilizing balance of त्रिदोष.
गोबर & मूत्र are potent अपानवाहक.Form of प्राण which when you intake with your full mental focus, will accelerates अपानवायु responsible for toxins elimination.

Even this recent paper suggest that Mindset matters [1]. So Gau mutra and Gobar are not just physical medicines but their name, their nature and action associated with name triggers potent अपानवायु in प्राणमय शरीर which helps अन्नमय शरीर in toxin cleaning.Bos Indicus or Desi Gay mata is सत्व personified so her प्रसाद is most potent to sustain any living organisms, be it plant or human.


Try this experiment. Even a thought about mutra will make your toxin elimination वेगवान. Mental focus and faith is very much needed for efficient cure by natural ways.



Mind-Set Matters

Exercise and the Placebo Effect

In a study testing whether the relationship between exercise and health is moderated by one’s mindset, 84 female room attendants working in seven different hotels were measured on physiological health variables affected by exercise. Those in the informed condition were told that the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle. Examples of how their work was exercise were provided. Subjects in the control group were not given this information. Although actual behavior did not change, 4 weeks after the intervention, the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than before. As a result, compared with the control group, they showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.



Why Surya Namaskar is ideal Vyayam : Energy Cost and Cardiorespiratory Changes



While most of us see exercise as a tool to remain fit and healthy, most people don’t fully understand how these different types of exercise elicit very different responses within our bodies. A basic understanding of how our body uses energy during different forms of exercise is critical for designing an effective exercise program.

For me, ideal exercise is that which keeps body in balance, well within the range of lactate or anaerobic threshold and exerts a moderate stress of cardiorespiratory system. The middle path. No extreme. One can increase one’s limit or the middle path, step by step.


As per research performed Defense Institute of Physiology & Allied Science, Delhi, Surya Namaskar fits well for both energy cost and cardiorespiratory stress.


Energy cost and cardiorespiratory changes during the practice of Surya Namaskar.

Surya Namaskar (SN), a group of Yogic exercise consists of a set of twelve postures which is practiced by some of the yoga practitioners. The present study was undertaken to observe critically the energy cost and different cardiorespiratory changes during the practice of SN. Twenty-one male volunteers from the Indian Army practiced selected Yogic exercises for six days in a week for three months duration. The Yogic practice schedule consisted of Hatha Yogic Asanas (28 min), Pranayama (10.5 min) and Meditation (5 min). In the Yogic practice schedule 1st they practiced Kapal Bhathi (breathing maneuvers) for 2 min then Yogamudra (yogic postural exercise) for 2 min, after that they took rest until oxygen consumption and heart rate (HR) came to resting value. Subsequently subjects performed SN for 3 min 40 seconds on an average. After three months of training at the beginning of the fourth month subjects performed entire Yogic practice schedule in the laboratory as they practiced during their training session and experiments were carried out. Their pulmonary ventilation, carbondioxide output, Oxygen consumption, HR and other cardiorespiratory parameters were measured during the actual practice of SN. Oxygen consumption was highest in the eighth posture (1.22+/-0.073 1 min(-1)) and lowest in the first posture (0.35+/-0.02 1 min(-1)). Total energy cost throughout the practice of SN was 13.91 kcal and at an average of 3.79 kcal/min. During its practice highest HR was 101+/-13.5 b.p.m. As an aerobic exercise SN seemed to be ideal as it involves both static stretching and slow dynamic component of exercise with optimal stress on the cardiorespiratory system.

perm link http://www.ijpp.com/IJPP%20archives/2004_48_2/184-190.pdf

Exercise (Vyayam) : Only way to slow down brain aging



If you cross 30, it is critical for you to have some physical exercise in routine.

Age 21 is the pinnacle age as far as our physiological development is concerned. From 21, biological downfall starts, slowly, unnoticed. (Ayurveda prescribed that children should not get involved in heavy endurance exercises. Let them play. There is a correlation. Just a hint. Separate topic) Downfall becomes rapid when you cross 30. More rapid when you cross 40. By the time you reach 50, you start feeling the ‘retiring’ feeling.

21 – This is the time when one should start paying attention to maintain equilibrium of the body balanced food, sleep and exercise. If you are in 30s, still there is a chance, start exercise! Running, swimming, real sports (Not cricket but basketball, football, hockey for 30 minutes at least), hiking, climbing, digging!

Exercise, plays vital role. Especially endurance exercise. Exercise, especially endurance exercise, is known to have beneficial effects on brain health and cognitive function. This improvement in cognitive function with exercise has been most prominently observed in the aging population. Exercise has also been reported to ameliorate outcomes in neurological diseases like depression, epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

As per this research [1] , endurance exercise induces FNDC5, a muscle protein. This induced protein helps inducing Bdnf (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a secreted protein, a growth factor. BDNF activity is correlated with increased long term potentiation and neurogenesis, which can be induced by physical activity. Long term potentiation is shown to improve learning and memory by strengthening the communication between specific neurons.

If you do not want your brain cells (neurons) to die prematurely, If you have started feeling midlife crisis, started forgetting things; Exercise is your ultimate solution.

One more study notes[2]:

Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience.

“We provide the first demonstration that moderate levels of physical activity enhance neuroplasticity in the visual cortex of adult humans,” says Claudia Lunghi of the University of Pisa in Italy.

“Our study suggests that physical activity, which is also beneficial for the general health of the patient, could be used to increase the efficiency of the treatment in adult patients,” Lunghi says. “So, if you have a lazy eye, don’t be lazy yourself!”


[1] Exercise Induces Hippocampal BDNF through a PGC-1α/FNDC5 Pathway


Exercise can improve cognitive function and has been linked to the increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving the elevation of this neurotrophin remain unknown. Here we show that FNDC5, a previously identified muscle protein that is induced in exercise and is cleaved and secreted as irisin, is also elevated by endurance exercise in the hippocampus of mice. Neuronal Fndc5 gene expression is regulated by PGC-1α, and Pgc1a−/− mice show reduced Fndc5 expression in the brain. Forced expression of FNDC5 in primary cortical neurons increases Bdnf expression, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown of FNDC5 reduces Bdnf. Importantly, peripheral delivery of FNDC5 to the liver via adenoviral vectors, resulting in elevated blood irisin, induces expression of Bdnf and other neuroprotective genes in the hippocampus. Taken together, our findings link endurance exercise and the important metabolic mediators, PGC-1α and FNDC5, with BDNF expression in the brain.

A cycling lane for brain rewiring


Brain plasticity, defined as the capability of cerebral neurons to change in response to experience, is fundamental for behavioral adaptability, learning, memory, functional development, and neural repair. The visual cortex is a widely used model for studying neuroplasticity and the underlying mechanisms. Plasticity is maximal in early development, within the so-called critical period, while its levels abruptly decline in adulthood [1] . Recent studies, however, have revealed a significant residual plastic potential of the adult visual cortex by showing that, in adult humans, short-term monocular deprivation alters ocular dominance by homeostatically boosting responses to the deprived eye [2–4] . In animal models, a reopening of critical period plasticity in the adult primary visual cortex has been obtained by a variety of environmental manipulations, such as dark exposure, or environmental enrichment, together with its critical component of enhanced physical exercise [5–8] . Among these non-invasive procedures, physical exercise emerges as particularly interesting for its potential of application to clinics, though there has been a lack of experimental evidence available that physical exercise actually promotes visual plasticity in humans. Here we report that short-term homeostatic plasticity of the adult human visual cortex induced by transient monocular deprivation is potently boosted by moderate levels of voluntary physical activity. These findings could have a bearing in orienting future research in the field of physical activity application to clinical research.

Endurance Exercise is not for all : When Exercise Is Unhealthy For The Heart


Note: This post is not written to discourage readers doing regular exercise 🙂 but to suggest variation in exercise based on your innate prakriti and season of the year.


You believe in your जाति or not, but it will remain with you and your kids for at least 7 generations. Where you live, what you eat, what trauma you face, and same events for your grandparents and great-parents up to 7 generations, matter a lot.

जाति/वर्ण is your identity. It can serve you best in intelligent secular society. Based on your जाति/वर्ण, you receive food, shelter and rituals.

There is no discrimination here.

Now read this modern research in this context.

“Arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy (AVC) is the most common heart condition that causes sudden cardiac death during intense exercise. ”
If your body constitution is like shudra or khstriya, you certainly will sustain Endurance exercise best. But if you ae Vaishya or Brahman by वर्ण, your body is not designed for endurance exercise as it is for Shudra and Kshtriya! You are inviting unforeseen consequences!

Get real. Respect your body. Act as per your innate nature. And to learn to act is the motive of life! 🙂 (Ideally by end of Brahmcharya AShram, it becomes clear)

Like same food everyone, same exercise for everyone, is a silent killer.


When Exercise Is Unhealthy For The Heart: Researchers Describe How Heart Problems And Sudden Cardiac Death Occur With Endurance Exercise

Endurance exercise accelerates the development of heart problems in individuals with a particular genetic mutation, a new study in American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiologyreports.

Arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy (AVC) is the most common heart condition that causes sudden cardiac death during intense exercise. The study found that in mice with a mutated version of desmoplakin, a protein that helps maintain the structure of the heart wall, exercise made the heart walls come apart sooner, leading to earlier development of AVC. According to lead researcher Jeffrey Towbin, MD, the findings confirm the role of the mutation in the development of AVC and offer insight into how to best manage exercise in individuals with AVC, which currently has no standardized strategy.

The cells in the heart wall are stacked in interlocking layers like bricks in a brick wall. They are attached to each other by links called desmosomes that dot the surface of the cells. Exercise can overstretch the heart wall, but these links keep the cells from disconnecting from each other and the heart wall from coming apart. Desmosomes are made up of several proteins, including desmoplakin. Defects in the proteins, as in AVC, weaken the cell-cell links. The cells do not withstand the extra stretch from exercise and detach from each other. Scar tissue fills the gaps between the disconnected cells, further reducing the heart wall’s ability to withstand increases in workload such as exercise.

Several studies observed that mice with a mutated form of desmoplakin developed the same heart problems seen in patients with AVC. In this new study, researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center discovered endurance exercise led to earlier onset of AVC symptoms in mice with the mutated desmoplakin. Moreover, the desmosomes started coming apart before changes in heart function were detected. Exercise also changed the signaling in the molecular pathway that promoted growth of new cells and prevented deposition of fat, the Wnt-β-catenin pathway, offering an explanation for the accelerated development of AVC.



Use it or Lose it: Study Shows Stopping Exercise Decreases Brain Blood Flow



We all know that we can quickly lose cardiovascular endurance if we stop exercising for a few weeks, but what impact does the cessation of exercise have on our brains? New research led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers examined cerebral blood flow in healthy, physically fit older adults (ages 50-80 years) before and after a 10-day period during which they stopped all exercise. Using MRI brain imaging techniques, they found a significant decrease in blood flow to several brain regions, including the hippocampus, after they stopped their exercise routines.

“We know that the hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory and is one of the first brain regions to shrink in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. J. Carson Smith, associate professor of kinesiology and lead author of the study, which is published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in August 2016. “In rodents, the hippocampus responds to exercise training by increasing the growth of new blood vessels and new neurons, and in older people, exercise can help protect the hippocampus from shrinking. So, it is significant that people who stopped exercising for only 10 days showed a decrease in blood flow to brain regions that are important for maintaining cognitive health.”



Hippocampal and Cerebral Blood Flow after Exercise Cessation in Master Athletes

While endurance exercise training improves cerebrovascular health and has neurotrophic effects within the hippocampus, the effects of stopping this exercise on the brain remain unclear. Our aim was to measure the effects of 10 days of detraining on resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in gray matter and the hippocampus in healthy and physically fit older adults. We hypothesized that rCBF would decrease in the hippocampus after a 10-day cessation of exercise training. Twelve master athletes, defined as older adults (age ≥ 50 years) with long-term endurance training histories (≥15 years), were recruited from local running clubs. After screening, eligible participants were asked to cease all training and vigorous physical activity for 10 consecutive days. Before and immediately after the exercise cessation period, rCBF was measured with perfusion-weighted MRI. A voxel-wise analysis was used in gray matter, and the hippocampus was selected a priori as a structurally defined region of interest (ROI), to detect rCBF changes over time. Resting CBF significantly decreased in eight gray matter brain regions. These regions included: (L) inferior temporal gyrus, fusiform gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, (R) cerebellar tonsil, lingual gyrus, precuneus, and bilateral cerebellum (FWE p < 0.05). Additionally, rCBF within the left and right hippocampus significantly decreased after 10 days of no exercise training. These findings suggest that the cerebrovascular system, including the regulation of resting hippocampal blood flow, is responsive to short-term decreases in exercise training among master athletes. Cessation of exercise training among physically fit individuals may provide a novel method to assess the effects of acute exercise and exercise training on brain function in older adults.


Walk before you sleep (die)


It is mentioned in classical Ayurvedic texts and proven in modern experiments that Vata (Vayu) type individuals will have maximum propensity for chronic diseases.

In ideal condition where air, water, food and social conditions are in great shape, humans start last phase of life around age 60. This is the age when body start experiencing Vata disorder.

Natural predominance of Vata over other dosha happen after we crosses 60. (Age 0 to 14 : Kapha, 14 to 60 : Pitta).

Unfortunately, due to life style, Vata becomes predominance in young age. So we see many in early 30s with VP Prakriti i.e. Vata heavy and PItta as secondary.VP Prakriti individuals have greater degree of Vata dosha so the individuals are more reactive to any kind of stimuli and prone to develop chronic stress leading to different kind of psychosomatic disorders.The reason for this could be that Pitta is responsible for intelligence and Vata is responsible for initiation and enthusiasm.
So to save our youth from diabetes, blood pressure and further complications, it is mandatory to engage them in exercise. It is very well defined in Ayurvedic text books that in advanced stage Prameha, exercises like physical exercise, wrestling, sports, riding elephant, horse and chariot, travelling on foot and moving around and also feats of archery are to be practiced. And since high calorie diet with no exercise is routine for many, they are prone to madhuprameha (Advance stage of prameha).

Read more in paper:


Effect of walking (aerobic isotonic exercise) on physiological variants with special reference to Prameha (diabetes mellitus) as per Prakriti


Walking is an isotonic aerobic exercise and has been associated with reduced blood sugar level in diabetic patients and other physiological changes in observational studies. A study was conducted to determine the effect of isotonic aerobic exercise (walking) on blood sugar level and other important physiological parameters as per Prakriti. This study was carried out in Department of Kriya Sharira and Kayachikita, S. S. Hospital; Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU and some cases were enrolled from Kashi Mumukshu Bhawan, Assi, Varanasi. A total 83 (32 diabetic control and 51 diabetic exercise) diabetic cases were included with age ranging from 35 to 65 years during January 2009 to January 2011. Control cases enrolled in this study had not performed any exercise. The results of the study revealed that, there is a strong association in between Prakriti, Blood pressure and certain other Biochemical parameters.


The present work covered a study of 83 cases. Out of these 44 males, 39 females. In this research work, maximum number of cases 57 (68.67%) belonged to VataPiitaja (VP) Prakriti and minimum number of cases 8 (9.645%) belonged to Vata-Kaphaja Prakriti. Incidence of male patients was high. In nut shell, on the basis of the observations, it can be concluded that the systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and respiratory rate are the specific responses that may have a strong association with the Prakriti of an individual at certain physiological conditions. Along with it, certain other biochemical parameters i.e., blood sugar level, lipid profile have shown strong association with Prakriti and walking in diabetic individuals. Vata–Piitaja (VP)Prakriti individuals have shown maximum response in the study. Certain other biochemical parameters i.e., blood sugar level, lipid profile have shown strong association with Prakriti and exercise. Walking is effective in maintenance of health, prevention of diseases like diabetes mellitus.

Sedentary routine, body posture and blood pressure

Posture and Pressure
Posture and Pressure

Sinuses are of various types. A wide channel containing blood; does not have the coating of an ordinary blood vessel is one type of sinus. The carotid sinus is a dilated area in the bifurcation of the common carotid at the level of the superior border of thyroid cartilage. The carotid sinus is sensitive to pressure changes in the arterial blood at this level. The carotid sinus contains numerous baroreceptors which function as a “sampling area” for many homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining blood pressure.

In short, this area of body maintains blood pressure. This area is situated head and neck. The position in which you hold your body plays a major role in maintaining your blood pressure. Good posture could help keep blood pressure levels normal while bad posture could increase it. Posture is the position in which a body is held upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. And good posture involves training a body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and spine during movement or weight-bearing activities.

New age service sectors fetched dollar salaries for young Indians. As a side effects, we also invited life-style diseases. High Blood Pressure now very common in 30-some professionals. Hours spent hunched over a computer raise blood pressure. Hours spent with bad posture raise it severely. Great dollar effect! Face it. Realize this: We go to our desk job each day, sit with a poor posture for nine hours, deadlines looming and have clients or a red faced boss breathing down our neck. Inevitably we end up stressed with tight neck muscles and after many years, blood pressure through the roof.

Action items:
• Take small breaks if your job demands continuous work on computer/desk after every 30 mins
• Do head and neck exercises daily.
• Do Surya namaskar daily
• During break, do deep breathing
• Maintain correct posture. ZERO TOLERANCE.
• Adjust and correct chair height and position by trial and error.

Minding your posture is about more than just looking pretty/handsome! So, look after your posture. There are more benefits to a healthy spine than you might expect!

Ayurveda and Exercise : Part 1 : Basics



In this series, we will try to understand importance of exercise as per Ayurveda texts.

Exercise importance Ashtang Hridayam - sutra sthan
Exercise importance

Ashtang Hridayam – sutra sthan

Why exercise?

  • Lightness of the body
  • कर्मसामर्थ्यं – perfection in daily chores and duties
  • दिप्थोग्नि – Digestive fire is improved
  • Imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is reduced
  • Firmness of mind and sturdiness of body

Who should not do exercise?

वातपित्तामयी बालो वृद्धो अजीर्णे च तं त्यजेत् ॥

Those who have Vata and Pitta predominant body constitution, who are too young or too old, and those suffering from indigestion  – they better avoid or do less of exercises.

Unfortunately, we are never taught to identify self prakriti. Nor we have expert Ayurvedacharya accessible to help. So mindless exercise goes on for petty benefits i.e. muscles and show-off.

This is also the reason why so many professional players retire too early. Too much exercise and too early to start in age.

Up to age 12, I would not force any child to get engaged in rigorous exercise. Yes, initiation and introduction is fine but not any force!

अर्धशक्त्या निषेव्यस्तु बलिभिः स्निग्धभोजिभिः ।

शीतकाले वसन्ते च मन्दमेव ततो अन्यथा । 

Who can do exercise?

  • Those who have desi cow ghee/coldpressed oil is accessible

Modern Gym goers instead focus on protein powder. Utterly nonsensical as long as purpose of exercise is concerned.

Ideal season for rigorous exercise?

  • Winter and Spring
  • In rest of the season, do limited exercise. Preferably stretching only.

How long one should exercise?

Every one has different capacity. Identify your half-capacity. For how long you can sustain without difficulty in breathing. Find out and set the duration. Consider season while fixing duration for exercise.Till one is having heavy breathing with sweating from forehead, arms and thighs. till that time, it is advised to do exercise.

More on it in next part.

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